About one in five of your elderly patients has likely experienced financial exploitation or been targeted by someone trying to defraud them of their hard-earned savings, according to national reports.
|Adult abuse pertains to anyone harmed or threatened by neglect, battery or financial exploitation.
That’s why the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office launched the Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation Prevention Program. The office also has hosted six educational presentations around the state.
The initiative urges you and other health care professionals to screen senior patients who might be vulnerable to investment fraud due to mental impairment and refer them to securities regulators and adult protective services.
Reports must be made to the Adult Protective Services unit at (800) 992-6978, or you may contact local law enforcement. The law provides immunity for making and discussing such reports.
To help you, the state provides a free online pocket guide and a patient education brochure, along with other resources. Find them on in.gov.
Duty to report
Additionally, the ISMA reminds you that all persons – including physicians – have a duty to report any suspected abuse of endangered adults. The term endangered adults refers to persons at least age 18 who are incapable by reason of mental illness, mental retardation, dementia, habitual drunkenness, excessive use of drugs, or other physical or mental incapacity of managing or directing the management of the individual’s property, or providing or directing the provision of self-care.